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Game launch sites that inexplicably still exist

The internet is often thought of as a well of information, but that’s a flawed metaphor. It’s much more like a worldwide network of networks, if you follow my logic. And as the internet ages, it’s becoming littered with servers, and those servers are becoming littered with old data. The result is digital versions of dilapidated shacks and ghost towns – they’re ancient and useless, but no one wants to take the effort to tear them down.

Being the inquisitive folk we are, we spontaneously engaged in a bout of internet archeology, during which we dug up some gems of old, run-down official game sites which no one has paid any attention to in years. We’re sort of like Lara Croft, except that instead of avoiding wild boars and skeletons, we dodge looping music and animated GIFs.


BLOODRAYNE
URL: http://www.bloodrayne.com/loband/index.html

When we Googled “Blood Rayne official site” in the hopes that a silly, completely unsexy promotional site would pop up, it did, only Google wasn’t quite sure how to spell “Blood Rayne.”


Above: This could have happened a few ways, but it’s funniest to assume that the site’s title was misspelled when it was created

Once inside, “BloddRayne” is a typically dull Flash-based site, with an image of our heroine molesting a dead soldier and shooting at semi-transparent doppelgangers of herself. What were meant to be cleverly titled links like “Experience Her” and “Study Her” are instantly creepy, and seem to imply that she is both attractive and physically attainable, which she is not. At least all the links still work.


Above: Someone please explain where her other leg is going, because it appears to be embedded in his crotch


DUKE NUKEM FOREVER
URL: http://www.3drealms.com/duke4/

The saddest thing about this site is that it was relevant up until a few months ago, but it nevertheless looks like it was designed by a time traveler from 1998. The most noticeable thing on the page is a string of red blinking text…the blink tag? Really? The inventor of that tag regrets ever having the idea, but 3D Realms has no problem using it prominently. (At least they didn’t add a “marquee” tag in for good measure.)


Above: We are profossonals, we make gams!

And what’s with directing people to the “Web Forums?” Again, Mr. Time Traveler from 1998, we were pretty damn sure you didn’t mean for us to travel to ancient Rome to sit on marble slabs to discuss Duke Nukem. We know what a forum is.

Did no one ever think that a redesign might be in order? They’re even still trying to sell games that originally shipped on floppies and look like this…for real money:


Above: “…Word Rescue has state-of-the-art dual-screen scrolling graphics similar to what's seen on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis home gaming systems. Even ‘grown-ups’ will like Word Rescue!” THIS GAME IS FROM 1992


THE MARK OF KRI
URL: http://www.kri-game.com/kr/uk/main.html

Welcome to 2002, the height of the Flash Era. Instead of lots of information and easy navigation, we get lame-ass minigames, popup windows, and rollover graphics. The site’s minigame isn’t that useless, we guess, if you really like clicking a lot. Too bad the leaderboards probably stopped working five years ago, or we’d own everyone at clicking.


Above: The future of marketing is games that aren’t as good as the game you’re selling


KINGDOM HEARTS 2
URL: http://na.square-enix.com/games/kingdomhearts/kh2/

The site still says “Coming March 28, 2006” – so apparently after the game was launched, they fired the entire online team and never looked back. There’s even still a link to the “battle system” page with reads “coming soon” when you roll over it. Never got that far, huh?


Above: Raise your hand if you love websites with looping music!


PREY
URL: http://www.prey.com/

Another attack of the ambient music! It’s not surprising the site is sitting around in its 2006 form, as it takes Human Head (and 3D Realms) at least 10 years to develop a game. The fact that this site doesn’t simply say “Coming Whenever” is actually impressive.


Above: I always like to see a big man scowling at me when I browse websites

Supposedly they’re working on Prey 2 – it was teased, in no unclear manner, at the end of Prey. Good luck with that… 2014 maybe? Or never? It’s too bad, because Prey was actually a decent game, and this is actually one of the best official sites we stumbled upon.

28 comments

  • mooseguy04 - September 23, 2009 10:31 p.m.

    lol, these are funny
  • Cyberninja - September 23, 2009 10:34 p.m.

    wow some of this stuff is old and am i the only one that didnt know daliyradar.com existed and i would be hardcore in that debate
  • killerwhalen - September 23, 2009 10:37 p.m.

    Wow! This is a pretty neat piece of gaming archaeology, sweet stuff mister Wilde!
  • Hurricrane - September 23, 2009 10:48 p.m.

    WOW, Ico still has its site up? That's hardcore
  • killerwhalen - September 23, 2009 11:44 p.m.

    Yeah, I tried to grab one of those desktops, but he was right about the resolutions.
  • JohnnyMaverik - September 23, 2009 11:56 p.m.

    Word Rescue, I used to love that game when I was like 5! Omg the nostalgia, I only remembered it after reading this article. I gotta try nd find that game again.
  • Taloh - September 24, 2009 12:08 a.m.

    I still love Dark Cloud and it's plastic weapons.
  • Yeager1122 - September 24, 2009 2 a.m.

    Awsome...only word i can think of at the moment.
  • Samael - September 24, 2009 2:35 a.m.

    Wow...nostalgia injection coming up.
  • Mechamorbo - September 24, 2009 4:09 a.m.

    Fantavision... is that sponsored by the drink?
  • Amnesiac - September 24, 2009 5:06 a.m.

    Good lord, Bushido Blade and GTA1? Pahahahaha!
  • otomicks - September 24, 2009 6:19 a.m.

    wow I didn't even know that game was called Word Rescue, wow good times man good times...
  • joabbuac - September 24, 2009 7 a.m.

    Look under gangsters in the GTA page. One guy is currently under investigation for woeful Joe Pesci impressions hahaha
  • TheWebSwinger - September 24, 2009 7:04 a.m.

    Fantastic article! True story: I clicked "chicken" on the Unlimited SaGa website just to see what would happen, and all it does is load without taking you to another page, until the connection times out. It's like they can't figure out how to handle it.
  • Link555 - September 24, 2009 9:44 a.m.

    good article, doesn't the first red faction still hav its website in operation
  • dweller - September 24, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    The quip about the GTA site looking like an art student's angelfire site made me laugh. Totally true though.
  • jar-head - September 24, 2009 3:10 p.m.

    surprisingly i rented two different Prey Games for the 360, updated, but Right after the shit hit's the roof (literately) the game would freeze...so i never did actually play prey for more then 15minutes...can i have my money back now?
  • RKO12321 - September 24, 2009 5:28 p.m.

    its weird?
  • Dalibor - September 24, 2009 7:37 p.m.

    How many different websites can there be on the internet? Would the internet ever falter b/c of there being to many websites? Some of those websites do need to be taken down or updated lol. Good read & article.
  • bluewolfer - September 24, 2009 8:21 p.m.

    lol quite nice.

Showing 1-20 of 28 comments

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